A week away, anticipation and excitement building? And an update
Guy shuts it down for a night to fall asleep on the couch and wakes to find there’s a report out there about Jonas Valanciunas being in a walking boot or somesuch.
Glad we’ve been invited over to the arena this morning to catch up with some of the guys working out so we can, you know, find out what’s real.
And here's what's real: It's a left calf strain, "not thought to be serious" according to team officials but there is no timeline for when he'll be able to resume full basketball work.
I will say this though: If the kid misses some time at camp – and I repeat NO ONE KNOWS NOW WHETHER THAT IS OR ISN’T THE CASE – it’d be too bad.
This, as we’ve said, is shaping up to be one of the more intriguing camps and pre-seasons in the last few years with genuine competition for jobs and a handful of promising players to integrate into a system that made major strides in an abbreviated 2012 season.
If I know Dwane, and I do pretty well, he’ll want to hit the ground running with some long, teaching-filled practices in Halifax next week (and thanks to all for the recommendations, we’ll be asking more later on this week) and that’s when most of the work is going to be done.
The CBA limits the number of two-a-day practices a team can have (if memory serves it’s three) and there can only be one “contact” practice on those two-a-day days.
That means the other workout those days will comprise drills and teaching and implementing defensive principles that they hope continues the improvement we saw a season ago. It’s where Dwane and his staff will be doing their most important work.
Having everyone ready to hit the ground running is significant – it’s not a death knell if they’re not but it’s big – because guys like Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields, Terrence Ross and perhaps a couple of others need to mesh fast.
Because once the pre-season starts, and especially when the regular season starts, they’ll lose some of those valuable practice days, the days when the staff really gets down to working.
I actually find myself getting kind of excited with media day and camp only a week away. It’ll be nice to get back to the regular rhythm of a regular season (I’ve banished almost all thought of last year from my mind) and even a wee bit of news to find out heightens that anticipation.
It’ll be good to be back around the gym this morning; it’ll be really good to be back there full time a week from now.
Who among us – at least those of us in this part of the world – didn’t spend at least a few minutes of our misspent youth wandering around a Sam The Record Man record store?
The iconic one in Toronto was a downtown landmark and even the satellite stores were, I’m sure, must-visit locatlons in whatever cities they were in.
No, they don’t make ‘em like that any more; sure, there is more variety and choice and all kinds of music-shopping options but there’ll never be another Sam The Record Man.
The man or the store.
Tough for the Bills, I was starting to get kind of jazzed about them and CJ Spiller; tougher for the Argos, though, because they were becoming quite a likeable team and seemed destined to host at least a playoff game in advance of the Grey Cup.
Now, it’s not like Hamilton or Winnipeg are looking like any kind of legitimate challengers to second in the East but the rest of the regular season is going to exponentially more difficult for Toronto if Ray’s out of any length of time.
No, I didn’t see a second of the Emmys and not a minute of Treme (the nap was that good) but now I know I have to put Homeland on the must-find On Demand list and they absolutely got it right with Modern Family.
Now, I need to see what’s up in New Orleans in Treme. No spoilers, please, not sure when I’ll get to it.
Kind of missed the release of the Raptors broadcast schedule at the end of last week; was off doing other stuff when it was put out.
Nothing’s changed, really. TSN and TSN2 have 47 games, Sportsnet and Sportsnet One have the other 35 and it’s Matt and Jack on the TSNs and Matt and Leo on the Sportsnets.
But here’s the one thing that hasn’t changed that’s perhaps most important.
All 82 games will once again be produced by NBA TV Canada so the look could mirror last year’s and won’t vary much game-to-game. You regular viewers (I’m not likely to see 10 games on TV this year) might want to weigh in on that.
I will fully admit I didn’t watch a lot of W5 or much other Canadian news consistently growing up – the Falls, sadly, was more Buffalo than Toronto – but I did know enough about Henry Champ to know broadcast journalism lost a giant when he passed away this weekend.
It’s funny, isn’t it? Even back in the day when reporters were simply reporters and delivered the news straight without a hint of personality coming through, greats emerged by the strength of their personalities and their skills.
Champ was one of them, unquestionably, but the manner in which he emerged as someone we knew and could trust was much different than it is today. He and others rose above by dint of their work ethic and stories they told not by screaming or over-emphasizing themselves above the story.
Like Sam Sniderman, they don’t make ‘em like that often enough any more.
One late Emmy note.
I heard or read or was told that the show with the most Emmys ever is Frasier and I find that hard to believe.
It was pretty good but I can’t imagine it being on anyone’s list of Top 20 sitcoms all the time. Must have been a dark, down period in sitcom history when it was on.